Can a coffee shop ask you not to carry a gun?

Can a coffee shop ask you not to carry a gun?

EUGENE, Ore. - A coffee chain's campaign asking customers to refrain from openly packing heat where baristas pack espresso shots has business owners asking what they can or can't - and should - do about customers carrying guns.

"We do believe that guns should not be part of the Starbucks experience," CEO Howard Schultz said of the company's request. "Starbucks is not a policy maker and in fact we're not pro- or anti-gun."

Master Sgt. Lang Hinkle at Oregon State Police said businesses can ask customers not to bring guns in the store.

Whether or not it's legal to carry a gun - or ask someone not to - isn't so simple.

Bring a gun into a store, and a customer isn't likely breaking the law.

Ask someone with a gun to leave, and a business isn't likely violating anyone's rights.
 
Refuse to leave when asked - THEN you could be breaking the law, gun or not.

Critics say Starbucks is sugarcoating its stance.

"Let's not fool ourselves here, Starbucks is anti-gun, everybody knows that," Ian Houston said. "They're a very liberal company."

Houston said he legally open carries a gun in Oregon everyday. He doesn't think he's ever startled anyone, except for the one time Eugene Police stopped him on the street in 2011.
 
"Someone called us up because you're walking around with your gun exposed," an officer can be heard saying in a YouTube video.

And that might be an understandable reaction.

"Even if they don't have any bad intentions," defensive firearms instructor Donovan Beard said, "that might look pretty bad if somebody is just like, "Oh my God, what's happening over there?"
 
Beard is a former federal security contractor with the Department of Nomeland Security. He said that although Oregon is an open carry state, gun laws are still subject to city and county law.

For example, it's illegal to carry a gun in most federal buildings and public libraries, Hinkle said.